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BETTE MIDLER’S NEW YORK RESTORATION PROJECT PRESENTS 19th ANNUAL HULAWEEN GALA

Featuring a Musical Performance by Earth, Wind & Fire

Mistress of Ceremonies Judy Gold, Costume Contest Judge Michael Kors

Also joining in the costumed festivities were Matthew Morrison; Mario Cantone; Narciso Rodriguez; Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue; Tony Danza; Rosanne Cash and Marc Shaiman

New York – October 31, 2014 – On Friday, October 31, the Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue was transformed into a center of ghostly, ghastly and ghoulish delights as Bette Midler presented New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) 19th Annual Hulaween Gala. Hosted by two-time Emmy winner Judy Gold, with a costume contest judged by fashion icon Michael Kors, and a performance by the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire, guests were invited to unleash their imaginations for the costume party of the year – and the biggest annual fundraiser for NYRP. 

Joining Ms. Midler and NYRP Executive Director Deborah Marton, along with Ms. Gold, Mr. Kors and Earth, Wind & Fire, were Mario Cantone, Rosanne Cash, Tony Danza, Phil Donahue and Marlo Thomas, Matthew Morrison, Narciso Rodriguez, Liz Smith, and Tony and Emmy Award winner Marc Shaiman.

In homage to Federico Fellini, a renowned Italian film director and scriptwriter, this year’s theme was themed Fellini Hulaweeni. Known for his distinct style blending fantasy and baroque images with earthiness, Fellini is considered one of the greatest and most influential filmmakers of the 20th century. In a career spanning almost fifty years, he won five Academy Awards, including the most Oscars in history for Best Foreign Language Film, and NYRP was honored to celebrate him on the 21st anniversary of his death.

Bette introduced the costumed crowd to Earth, Wind & Fire, who sang hit songs such as “Boogie Wonderland,” “Sing a Song” and “Shining Star” before bringing a group of costumed ladies to the stage to sing background on The Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” and “September”. As one of the most successful and critically acclaimed bands of the twentieth century, Earth, Wind & Fire is a rarity in the realm of entertainment, exemplifying innovation in every aspect of their evolutionary career. They have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and sold over 100 million records, making them one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.

CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award-winning designer Michael Kors judged the star-studded crowd of nearly 1,000 guests for “Best Costume” winners. Notable winners include Sandra Lee as “Best Costume Female,” Jon Recor as “Best Costume Male,” Linda Allard and her table of Fellini’s 8 ½ as “Best Costume Group,” Todd DeGarmo and his table of Fellini clowns as “Best How The Hell Did You Do That” and Narciso Rodriguez and Thomas Tolan as “Best Couple.”

This year’s Gala honored long-time environmental activists Shelly and Tony Malkin with the Green God Award and Sarah Nash with the Wind Beneath My Wings Leadership Award. Over her extraordinary 18 years of dedicated service to the NYRP Board as secretary and treasurer, Sarah helped guide the organization through its acquisition of 52 community gardens, revitalization of Sherman Creek Park, and launch of the MillionTreesNYC initiative.

In addition, guests enjoyed an exhibit displaying the 10 original art pieces of TD Bank’s “TD Forests: Art for Trees” campaign in the Waldorf-Astoria’s Jade and Astor rooms. The pieces, created by renowned artists, are now available for purchase in an online auction until November 14. All proceeds raised will be donated to NYRP and three other New York City environmental non-profits. Bidders can visit paddle8.com/auctions/artfortrees to view all of the “Art for Trees” artwork and prices. Replicas of the artwork are currently on display in the windows of more than 100 TD Bank Stores throughout New York City.

Co-Chairs for the evening were: Ellen and Steven Corwin, Ellen and Richard Levine, Kathy and Ben Needell and John J. Studsinski CBE.

About New York Restoration Project

Founded by Bette Midler in 1995, NYRP is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming open space in under-resourced communities to create a greener, more sustainable New York City. Unlike traditional conservancies that care for a specific place, NYRP is the only New York City conservancy that works citywide, bringing private resources to spaces that lack adequate municipal support. NYRP is also the leading private partner of the City of New York in MillionTreesNYC – an initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout New York City’s five boroughs by 2015. To learn more, please visit http://www.nyrp.org.